An online table booking system is something every modern restaurant should have.

If you haven’t made the leap to online booking as a restaurateur, you’re probably unaware of the benefits you’re missing out on and the human errors to which you could put an end.

Here’s a few common mishaps that are likely to occur if your restaurant doesn’t have a table booking system in place.

Double bookings

If your system isn’t digital and doesn’t allow online bookings to be made via the restaurant’s website, then it’s all too easy for double bookings to occur and spoil the evening for at least one group of diners.

When everything is handled by a self-service online booking solution, double bookings become a much rarer occurrence.

Phantom bookings

If a customer makes a booking, receives confirmation from a member of staff, and then arrives to find that their reservation wasn’t actually written down anywhere, sparks are sure to fly.

This can hurt your restaurant’s reputation, compromise customer loyalty and cause consternation during busy periods if you’ve no free tables to offer.

Missed online booking opportunities

People expect to be able to book everything online these days, and if your website doesn’t have the option to check availability and reserve a table, they’ll quickly head elsewhere.

Ultimately, this means you’ll continue to drive potential customers into the arms of your rivals and the major chains who possess super-fast online booking services.

Lack of data to drive improvements

Without a booking system, you won’t be able to get valuable insights into the habits of your customers, nor track the uptake of promotions you provide or monitor seasonal shifts in cover numbers.

Data like this can be used to your advantage if you have a cutting-edge system, enabling you to work out where you’re falling short and make educated changes (rather than throwing caution to the wind).

It’ll become much easier to adjust your strategies and capitalise on future opportunities if you make the leap to an online table booking system for your restaurant.

Sluggish greeting process

Without a system in place, customers will usually have to twiddle their thumbs while a member of staff rifles through the diary to check for the reservation.

This slows down the pace of the initial greeting, which can lead to an uncomfortable, irritable pile-up of potential guests if there are lots of people trying to squeeze inside during peak periods.

With a booking system, reservations can be pulled up in a jiffy and guests swiftly guided towards their tables.

Missed upsell opportunities

When booking a table online, diners can browse the website to check out what else is on offer, and if the system enables optional extras to be added during the booking process, they’re far more likely to take the bait.

Of course, if you’re still taking bookings in an old-fashioned way, upselling becomes a task the reception or waiting staff will almost certainly forget about.

Wrapping up

It’s pretty obvious that a table booking system can make a big difference to any independent restaurant. But, like so many things in life, you probably won’t realise just how big the impact will be on your business until you give one a try.

The excuses for not having this type of system are dwindling by the day, but the advantages continue to stack up as new features are added.

Is it time to throw away your paper diary?